15 Former Stars Who Think They’re Still Famous (But They’re Not)

With so much emphasis on who the next “It” girl will be in Hollywood, it can be easy to overlook some of the other celebrities that previously dominated the headlines. Becoming a celebrity isn’t that difficult of a feat if you abide by Andy Warhol’s famous quote, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Yet, the true difficulty about being famous in Hollywood is the ability to maintain the public’s interest. For an actor, it’s crucial to pick the right roles that will help to propel their career and a string of bad picks can result in a debunked acting career that is nearly impossible to overcome. The same can be said for music artists that no longer churn out the hit singles since the public’s tastes are always changing.

Even celebrities that continue the same model that has worked so well for them in the past can find difficulties due to the ever-changing tastes of the public. A reality star can be thought of as the toast of the town in one minute, but a quick change can cause them to completely lose their celebrity status while the public moves on to the next fad of choice. The interesting part of this entire situation is the fact that so many former celebrities try desperately to cling to their fame and favor in the eyes of the public. From showing up to red carpet events to drumming up extra publicity through the antics in their personal lives, it seems like some of these celebrities can’t take the hint that they are no longer famous. Check out our list of the 15 former stars that think they’re still famous and try and think back to the last success they’ve truly had in their careers.

15 Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff shot to fame in the early 2000s from her Disney Channel hit series, Lizzie McGuire, and quickly transitioned to achieve big screen success. Unlike other Disney celebrities that got their start through their squeaky clean image and then went on to destroy it, Duff maintained her wholesome persona and even brought her sister along for the ride. There was a time when Hilary and her sister, Haylie, were thought of as two of the hottest siblings in Hollywood. Yet, it’s been quite some time since either of these two ever had anything seriously significant come from their “careers.” The interesting part is that Hilary Duff still seems to be trying to get back into the music industry, even though asking anyone if they can recollect a Hilary Duff song would probably end up with some boisterous laughter.

14 Pauly D

When the world was first introduced to Pauly D on the MTV series, Jersey Shore, he became an instant star that helped set the trend for orange tans and stiff blowouts. He made a career for himself as a DJ, outside of being a reality star and even held a residency in Las Vegas. Yet, the Jersey Shore fascination was short-lived and people quickly grew tired of his same old shtick. Rather than evolving his look and moving on to bigger and better things, Pauly D continued to try and remain in the spotlight through reality TV. That is exactly where he met his new love interest, Aubrey O’Day. In January of this year, there were reports that the two were filming their own reality series on documenting their love and new engagement. Now, both of these washed up reality stars are hoping to align their fame to try and maintain their status as relevant celebrities.

13 Adam Lambert

When Adam Lambert was first introduced to audiences on the eighth season of American Idol, he wasn’t as flamboyant in his look as he is now. There was definitely an edginess to his whole persona and the black eyeliner gradually became more prominent as he progressed in the competition. Yet, it didn’t reach its full potential until after he was voted as the runner-up in the season. He quickly amped up his style and had many people comparing him to former music artists like Boy George and George Michael. Lambert actually achieved a small amount of success in his career and sold over 3 million albums. However, he is far from being considered a consistently selling music artist. Every now and again, Lambert pops up on the red carpet at some event or another and always seems to have a new hair color for his appearance. While the public was amused at first, it seems time for Lambert to start thinking about new career options.

12 Nicole Scherzinger

When the Pussycat Dolls first emerged onto the music scene, the combination of their burlesque style and vocal talent created a huge fan base for the girl group. They came out with a few hits that quickly became favorites at the club like “Don’t Cha” and “Buttons.” Yet, the group ultimately went the same route as so many other music groups and Nicole Scherzinger branched out as a solo artist. She had moderate success on her own through her solo music but then landed a job as a television personality on The X Factor. She had already tried to brand herself as a reality television star through her appearances in The Sing-Off and Dancing with the Stars, so it seemed like a natural progression for her to be on a reality singing competition. Yet, she was by no means a favorite judge on the UK series. Nowadays, American audiences don’t even really consider Scherzinger an A-list celebrity and most can’t even remember any of her singles from when she released her own music.

11 Ashlee Simpson

When Ashlee Simpson was first introduced to the world, she had to battle being solely thought of as Jessica Simpson’s little sister. While embarking on her own music career, she gained a fan base out of her rebellious singles and persona as “living in the shadows.” However, the lip sync instant on SNL put a huge damper on her credibility as a singer and the nose job and blonde transformation caused many to wonder what type of artist she truly was. While her debut album was a huge success, her subsequent music was lackluster at best. It seems like the only real way she has been able to stay in the spotlight is through her latest marriage to Evan Ross. Yet, there were rumors surrounding their wedding where even the tabloids didn’t seem interested in purchasing photos from the nuptials.

10 Christina Milian

Christina Milian shot to fame in the early 2000s and released a number of memorable hit singles like “Dip It Low” and “Whatever U Want.” The success of her music career and the media attention over her relationship with Nick Cannon helped to propel her career onto the big screen. However, it’s been a long time since Milian was considered to be a legitimate film star or music artist, for that matter. There were headlines around the issues she had with Def Jam records and then she lost her job as a co-host on The Voice. There was some talk about trying to turn her and her sisters into the next Kardashians on reality TV but that didn’t seem to take with fans. Nowadays, she’s more known for trying to get photographed as often as possible, even though she hasn’t released anything of note in quite some time.

9 Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton had already gained a name for herself in Hollywood as a party girl and socialite when she first appeared on the reality series, The Simple Life, in 2003. Her sex tape caused a huge media firestorm and only helped to add to her fame status. There was a time when Paris Hilton seemed like the most glamorous and influential celebrity in Hollywood. She was seen at every red carpet event and romantically linked to some of the hottest young stars in Hollywood. However, the public quickly tired of the forced baby voice and the immature persona she chose to adopt while in the spotlight. While she remains a celebrated star in other parts of the world, American audiences aren’t interested anymore with this hotel heiress.

8 Lindsay Lohan

When Lindsay Lohan first started out as a child actress, audiences couldn’t get enough of the little redhead with freckles. While other child actresses find it difficult to transition into older roles, the world quickly embraced a much older Lohan when she starred in the 2004 film, Mean Girls. Yet, she seemed to have aspirations in becoming a music artist and her initial emergence was met with open arms. However, the time of admiration over how this beautiful young girl was able to show off so many of her talents was short-lived. Lohan’s personal life began spiraling downward and she soon became known for her instability, partying ways and poor work ethic. Nowadays, Lohan is hard-pressed to find work and the news stories surrounding her are more about her personal life, rather than her professional endeavors.

7 Ashley Greene

Ashley Greene was still considered a struggling actress when she was cast in the role of Alice Cullen in the hit film series, Twilight. Donning a pixie haircut, Greene was perfect for the role of Edward Cullen’s vampire sister and best friend to Bella Swan. There was a huge amount of publicity for Greene while promoting all of the films in the franchise but the public fascination surrounding the romance between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson seemed to take up all of the limelight. Once the series concluded, Greene tried to pursue an acting career beyond her memorable vampire character but most of her roles went unnoticed. She changed her look with a much longer hairstyle but that still didn’t seem to help her obtain notoriety or quality roles.

6 Kesha

When Kesha was first introduced to the world as a music artist, she had already been hanging around the inner circle of young celebrities. She told stories about partying with Paris Hilton and even regaled a story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about vomiting in Hilton’s closet. Once she finally made it as a pop star, she gained a major fan base through hit single after hit single. However, just as she was starting to reach the level of fame she always intended, a dispute between her producer, Dr. Luke and Sony Music, put everything on hold. After accusations of a sexual assault and controversy over contract negotiations, it seems like forever since the world has heard new music from Kesha. It doesn’t look like there is much hope for salvaging the damage done to her momentum in her career and there is no guarantee that her fans will be waiting with open arms once everything finally settles between Kesha and Sony.

5 Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon got his start as a television actor and personality at a young age, with hit series like All That and The Nick Cannon Show. Yet, many people know him for his comedic skills in the MTV series, Wild ‘n Out. His success in the early 2000s eventually led to a number of roles on the big screen but the only truly memorable character he played in film was in the Drumline series. The rest of his movie roles were less than memorable, to say the least, and Cannon seemed to fall back into the role of a television host for America’s Got Talent. After his time with America's Got Talent came to an end, Cannon didn’t seem all that concerned because he had a number of other projects that seemed to be helping him to maintain his celebrity lifestyle. Yet, his over-the-top personality and antics in his personal life have hurt his chances in being seen as a credible actor or television host. While Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez maintain utterly polished in their persona, Cannon is known for flaunting his various sexual relationships all over town whilst wearing a turban. The public is starting to tire of his cartoon-like character and many are starting to hope that he realizes he’s not really famous anymore sometime soon.

4 Aubrey O’Day

It’s typical for a reality star to evolve their look once they become famous since money is considered the best moisturizer. Yet, there are some celebrities that have taken their transformation a little too far. When Aubrey O’Day was first seen as a lowly contestant on MTV’s, Making the Band 3, she was depicted as a beautiful girl that didn’t have a problem speaking her mind. As she moved on in the competition and went on to become a member of Danity Kane, the cameras documented how the series constantly highlighted her looks more than her vocal ability. Eventually, her look began to change to become much more Barbie-like compared to her former fresh-faced girl-next-door look. Once the group disbanded, O’Day remained in the headlines for her Heart on My Sleeve clothing line and a failed attempt to start a duo group with Danity Kane’s member, Shannon Bex. Yet, most people remember her for her nude photo spread and her newly announced engagement to DJ Pauly D.

3 Rosamund Pike

When Rosamund Pike was first starting out as an actress, she obtained some highly coveted roles that anyone else would think of as their big break into Hollywood. Starring alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood and even becoming a Bond girl, it would seem like Pike was well on her way to being considered the newest “It” girl on the big screen. Yet, things began slowing down immensely in her role options and it seemed like she was already being considered a has-been. Her last shot at stardom came when she starred in the hit film, Gone Girl, which helped to bring on some new momentum in her acting career. While there was a lot of media hype over her performance, even the success of the film didn’t propel her career. It looks like she was a one-hit-wonder, even though she’s been in a number of memorable films.

2 Ray J

It isn’t a new concept for the sibling of a celebrity to try and break out on their own but the situation regarding Ray J and his older sister, Brandy, is a bit unique. Brandy was coined as a squeaky clean music artist from an amazing family, so it was a bit hard to believe that Ray J had any street credibility as a Hip Hop artist. Once his sex tape with Kim Kardashian was “leaked,” he created a completely different persona in the eyes of the public. He went on to become a reality star as a sought-after love interest but the women chasing him weren’t exactly on the same level as the cast of The Bachelor. Ray J attempted to get back into the music industry as a true artist and even used a pixilated image of Kim Kardashian while promoting his new album. Yet, even that wasn’t enough to thrust him back into the limelight. He may consider himself as one of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities but most people can’t even remember what he’s famous for, besides sleeping with Kim Kardashian.

1 Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton had quite a burgeoning acting career on television and film but is probably best known for her role on The O.C. on Fox. Yet, she quickly became known more for her partying habits than her acting prowess. She was often photographed stumbling in and out of Hollywood hotspots and the years of partying did a number on her looks and physique. She infamously ballooned in weight and she lost all of the fresh-faced good looks from early on in her career. Barton remained in the headlines through some of her more outlandish behavior in her personal life and was even caught by the paparazzi after she had crashed a moving truck into a low awning. The most recent news came from a video that was released of Barton screaming belligerently outside of her home. There have also been rumors of a sex tape that is being shopped around involving Barton. With so much drama going on in her personal life, it doesn’t look like she will be considered a legitimate actress anytime soon.

Sources: E! News, USA Today, Elite Daily

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